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TAKE A CRUISE: How Charlotte County welcomed the American Glory

New cruise ship will stop in Punta Gorda on its way back to St. Pete
american glory cruise ship.jpg
Posted at 9:03 AM, Jan 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-03 18:32:28-05

PUNTA GORDA, Fla — American cruise lines has added a stop in Punta Gorda as part of its new seasonal sailing trip running from St. Pete to Key West. Charlotte County rolled out the red carpet for a welcome ceremony at Fisherman's Village to greet the passengers as they arrived on shore for the very first time.

This stop is part of an 8-day cruise for the new ship - American Glory. It makes its way to Punta Gorda on the back end of its itinerary after visiting Marco Island and the Keys. The ship anchored a short distance away from Fisherman’s Village and a smaller boat brought the 104 passengers on board to shore where they were greeted with gift bags and refreshments, all to the tune of a live steel drum.

Sean Doherty, Punta Gorda’s Visitor and Convention Bureau Executive Director, commented on the significance of the ceremony, saying, “Really, it’s just a way to show that we’re welcoming this group here. Our community really embraces the visitors here and understand the importance of having visitors in town.”

Doherty added that stops like this create a lot of value for both the passengers and the city, saying, “It’s really going to expose a lot of people to the destination possibly for the first time, and will give them that taste so hopefully they’ll come back in the future.”

While in town, the passengers can take a tour bus to the Peace River Botanical Garden and Wildlife Center, make a stop downtown for shopping, or head over to Sunseeker resort for a pool and spa day. Shelly Hartfield, American Cruise Lines Director of Produce Development, said these unique activities made it an easy decision to add this stop to the schedule.

“This was just a standout location as far as guest experiences - and the location to be able to tender here into Fisherman’s Village,” Hartfield added.

With twenty-one stops in Punta Gorda planned this year, Hartfield says that number will increase to twenty-eight in 2025, and reach thirty in 2026.

“The excitement here - you can definitely feel it, and I know our guests will too. So, it’s very exciting for all of us at American Cruise Lines,” said Hartfield.